Date posted: 08/10/2021

Tapering of COVID-19 support

Federal, NSW and VIC Government announce tapering plans for COVID-19 support payments once reaching vaccination milestones

In brief

  • COVID-19 Disaster Payment is set to require eligibility reconfirmation at 70% full vaccination rate and then step down over 2 weeks once 80% full vaccination rate is reached in a state or territory
  • NSW JobSaver Payments are set to reduce by 25% from 10 to 23 October and Commonwealth funding will cease for this program once 80% full vaccination rate is reached
  • Existing VIC grant programs will continue (tapering of some payments from 70% to 80% full vaccination rate) until VIC reaches 80% full vaccination rate

In response to the various Australian states and territories nearing the 70% vaccination rate milestone, the Federal, New South Wales (NSW) and Victorian (VIC) Governments have announced the tapering of their COVID-19 support once the vaccination rate milestones have been reached.

COVID Disaster Payment

Under the payment, eligible recipients have received $750 per week if they lost over 20 hours of work, $450 per week if they lost between 8 and 20 hours and $200 per week for those on income support payments who lost over 8 hours of work. The payment will begin to taper once a state or territory reaches 70% full vaccination of its population (16 years or older).

Once a state or territory reaches 70% full vaccination, the automatic renewal of the payment will end and individuals will have to reapply each week that a Commonwealth Hotspot remains to confirm their eligibility.

At 80% full vaccination rate, where a Commonwealth Hotspot remains in place, the payment will step down over a period of two weeks before ending.

  • Week 1 – payment of $450 for those who’ve lost more than 8 hours of work, while those on income support will receive $100
  • Week 2 – payment of $320 (in line with JobSeeker) for those who’ve lost more than 8 hours of work, while those on income support will receive $100.

The Pandemic Leave Disaster Payment will be in place until 30 June 2022.

NSW business support

When the NSW vaccination rate reaches 70% of the eligible population, JobSaver payments will taper from the current payment rate equivalent to 40% of weekly payroll to 30% of weekly payroll. 

From 10 October to 23 October, the minimum and maximum weekly payments for employing businesses will be reduced by 25% to $1,125 and $75,000 weekly and grants to be 30% of weekly payroll.  The grant for sole traders will reduce to $750. 

At 80% full vaccination rate, the Commonwealth’s contribution to the JobSaver program will cease however the NSW Government will continue to fund its share of JobSaver payments. The payments will be reduced to 15% of weekly payroll. The Micro-business grant will continue to be available but halved to a rate of $750 per fortnight.

Both the JobSaver payment and the Micro-business grant will end on 30 November 2021, coinciding with the expected relaxation of restrictions.

The NSW Government has published a table in its media release dated 30 September 2021 summarising the JobSaver tapering.

VIC business support

Additional funding for existing grant programs have been announced, supporting small and medium sized businesses through the next six weeks at which point Victoria is expected to reach 80% vaccination. 

The announcement envisages: 

  • The automatic Business Costs Assistance Program (grants ranging from $1,000 to $8,400 per week, rising according to payroll) will continue until the end of October. Businesses that remain closed or severely restricted over the first two weeks of November will also receive automatic payments for that period. 
  • Eligible cafes, restaurants, hotels and bars across Victoria will receive automatic Licensed Hospitality Venue Fund payments of between $5,000 and $20,000 per week until the end of October. 
  • Licensed Hospitality Venue Fund payments will continue between the 70% and 80% full vaccination rate, reduced by 25% for licensed premises in metropolitan Melbourne and reduced by 50% in regional Victoria to reflect lower restrictions in place at that stage under Victoria’s Roadmap. 

The additional funding will also enable a further 30,000 businesses to receive a one-off $20,000 payment through the Small Business COVID Hardship Fund, taking the number of recipients to 65,000.

Federal Treasurer’s media release dated 29 September 2021

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Federal and NSW Governments’ media release dated 30 September 2021

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NSW Governments’ media release dated 30 September 2021

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Federal Government and VIC Governments’ media release dated 30 September 2021

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